The new JCPenney at the Manhattan Mall in New York (former home to Gimbels, Stern's and A&S) is open and flourishing in an otherwise dismal retail market. What better way to celebrate its arrival and success by sending the New York Times fashion reporter Cintra Wilson into the store for a review. Ms. Wilson gives the store enough backhanded compliments and outright insults that's almost a parody of a serious article, even for the Fashion & Style section.
Consider this excerpt:
J. C. Penney has always trafficked in knockoffs that aren’t quite up to
Considering the questionable (and largely overpriced even at a discount) merchandise that passes for fashion in the dozens of off-price store that cover
You also have to consider that every other large scale retailer that has been in this mall since the fall of Gimbels has tanked. Stern's, for all of its history as the "Show Biz Store," looked more like a bad infomercial when they were there. Steve & Barry's was even worse, stretching its bland wares into an oversized space that was doomed to fail. Don't get me started on the perpetually lackluster specialty stores in this mall. JCPenney is a strong enough name that it could be a serious contender with the right amount of traffic.
UPDATE: Apparently neither the public or Ms. Wilson's bosses liked the article very much.
The Insult Was Extra Large
NYTimes Issues Apology For Cintra Wilson Article